Survey finds circular economy businesses ‘outperform traditional competitors’

Research by global consultancy partnership, Kearney, suggests that leaders embracing circular initiatives into their business models report ‘outperforming traditional rivals’. 

The survey of 150 companies across the globe suggests financial benefits for those businesses that are engaging with circular economy models.

According to Kearney, 34% of those surveyed, defined by Kearney as circular ‘leaders’, have reported a 5% or more improvement in core KPIs as a result of switching to circular products and business models.

In this group, 32% of respondents reported revenue increases, 38% reported cost savings benefits, 50% reported improvement in customer loyalty metrics and 70% an improvement in brand recognition, Kearney says. 

The partnership says that the data comes at a ‘critical moment’ when the world is facing a ‘rising resource scarcity and waste problem’.

It says over 100 billion tonnes of materials are processed every year and over 91% of these materials are newly extracted from the ground. The firm says that the circular economy is ‘key’ to reversing this trend by eliminating waste and emissions. 

The survey suggests that it is possible to successfully implement circular strategies independent of industry and company size, Kearney says. Circular leaders are differentiated through a strategic focus on circular activities, quantified targets and partnerships across industries as well as contacts to investors and policy makers.

Yelena Ageyeva-Furman, Partner at Kearney comments: “Circular economy is the next step in the world’s necessary move to a sustainable future. The report reveals that the benefits of adopting circular strategy are not singularly environmental. In fact, those implementing circular initiatives are reaping both monetary and reputational advantages.

“In the Fourth Industrial Age, it pays to be sustainable, and those who persist with the unsustainable “take-make-waste” economy will inevitably start to lag behind.”

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